WASHINGTON – The past week's rash of deadly school shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania prompted President Bush on Monday to call together a conference of experts to try to address the problem and stop future attacks.
The conference, planned for next week, will likely revisit the growing body of data regarding the continuing trend of school violence.
The last major government study of the problem came in 2002, when the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Education released their investigation of 37 incidents of in-school violence between 1974 and 2000, a year after two boys killed 13 classmates and then themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.
While two of the three attacks in the past week have been by adults — a new wrinkle in the history of violence usually perpetrated by youths — the new group will almost certainly start where the 2002 report left off.
The final report of the Safe School Initiative included 10 key findings, which led to two main recommendations. The report ago offered some optimism that authorities could make schools safer, but also showed that preventing attacks would be difficult: Doing so would mean authorities would have to crack the cloistered and quiet world of outcast, angry teens.
"But the findings of the Safe School Initiative do suggest that some future attacks may be preventable, if those responsible for safety in schools know what questions to ask and where to uncover information that may help with efforts to intervene before a school attack," the report stated.
According to its final report, the Safe School Initiative findings included:
— "Targeted violence — like the kinds found in the Columbine attacks — were rarely sudden and impulsive, and most times, others knew about the plans to make an attack
— But most of the time, the attackers never made direct threats to their targets.
— There is no common profile of a school attacker.
— Usually, the attackers had previously either exhibited behavior that caused concern among others, or showed a "need for help."
— Many had considered or attempted suicide, or felt bullied.
— Most attackers had access to and had used weapons before they carried out their plans.
— Most shooting incidents weren't stopped by law enforcement, despite fast responses by authorities.
The report then said that both the education and law enforcement communities should work together to:
— Find a better way to "pick up on and evaluate available or knowable information" — gather intelligence on risks of targeted attacks and develop threat assessments, and
— Develop plans to prevent potential attacks.
Some things have changed, including new assistance from the FBI, which profiles potential attackers, in many cases kids. The bureau also teaches school safety measures and drills to try and prevent or minimize the harm from an attack.
It's not clear if the president himself would attend the conference, but officials certainly will be looking for answers on what more can be done.
FOXNews' Catherine Herridge and Greg Simmons contributed to this report.